Journal Article The exon junction complex controls the efficient and faithful splicing of a subset of transcripts involved in mitotic cell-cycle progression

Fukumura, Kazuhiro  ,  Wakabayashi, Shunichi  ,  Kataoka, Naoyuki  ,  Sakamoto, Hiroshi  ,  Suzuki, Yutaka  ,  Nakai, Kenta  ,  Mayeda, Akila  ,  Inoue, Kunio

The exon junction complex (EJC) that is deposited onto spliced mRNAs upstream of exon–exon junctions plays important roles in multiple post-splicing gene expression events, such as mRNA export, surveillance, localization, and translation. However, a direct role for the human EJC in pre-mRNA splicing has not been fully understood. Using HeLa cells, we depleted one of the EJC core components, Y14, and the resulting transcriptome was analyzed by deep sequencing (RNA-Seq) and confirmed by RT–PCR. We found that Y14 is required for efficient and faithful splicing of a group of transcripts that is enriched in short intron-containing genes involved in mitotic cell-cycle progression. Tethering of EJC core components (Y14, eIF4AIII or MAGOH) to a model reporter pre-mRNA harboring a short intron showed that these core components are prerequisites for the splicing activation. Taken together, we conclude that the EJC core assembled on pre-mRNA is critical for efficient and faithful splicing of a specific subset of short introns in mitotic cell cycle-related genes.

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